Death of a Room mate

 | Fri 17 May 2013 12:57 ICT

I’ve been thinking about death recently. Not in a throw-myself-off-the-balcony type way, but because I’m getting sort of old, I’m single, and I haven’t done that thing of passing my genes on to another generation like what I’m apparently programmed to do. I don’t expect to die any time soon, but neither do any of us. Dennis, my room-mate, probably didn’t expect it, but he just died and got eaten by ants.

Dennis and I didn’t talk much and when we did it was pretty one sided. Me lying in the bath asking him how his day had been and if he had any plans for the evening mostly, or explaining to him what was so funny about the Youtube video I was watching while he sat quietly in the corner. Dennis obviously wasn’t a person, he was a cockroach.


Cockroaches are usually pretty irritating. They tend to appear when you are not expecting them to appear and scare the toss out of you in pretty much the same way that we tend to scare the toss out of them when we suddenly appear. There’s always that delicious moment when meeting a cockroach on the pavement. Both of you have some place to be, but just for a second or two both of you will stop, have a quick stare at each other, and then go about your business.


I remember going to my balcony for a smoke, and there, on the step was Dennis. Just looking at me. I asked him if I could squeeze past and whether he’d like a cigarette. A bit irresponsible to offer a bug a fag when I am not clear on the legislation regarding that sort of thing, but hell, cockroaches can survive nuclear fallout, one ciggie isn’t going to hurt. He scuttled off and I was left to contemplate the Chiang Mai skyline alone.


Sometimes I would lie in bed trying to get some sleep wondering what Dennis was up to. He wasn’t really a day cockroach so I assumed he got up to whatever cockroaches get up to during the darker hours. I know he used to hang out in the bathroom with Trevor the chin-cho because for a pair of relatively tiny things, they didn’t half shit a lot.


I’d worry that he didn’t perhaps have enough to eat as I didn’t leave anything out for him, and now he’s gone, I feel a bit rubbish about that. Then again, if I did leave something out then the bastard ants would no doubt have got there first. And now those bastard ants have carried Dennis off to a better place – he lived behind the dresser, and living behind a dresser can’t be that great, however low down the food-chain you are. Anywhere has to be a better place than behind a dresser.


It feels horrid to admit it now Dennis has gone to meet the choir invisible, but in my darker moments I thought about getting rid of him. Not killing him, killing things isn’t my bag, but catching him and popping him off the balcony. Have you tried to catch a cockroach? They are deceptively nippy little bastards and have those long feelers that one just doesn’t want to damage by trapping them under a cup. Thankfully the darker moments passed and I accepted that, although he still owes me some rent, Dennis had every right to hang out here. In fact, he was born in Thailand, he had more right to be here in the eyes of the law than I do.


I suppose what I mean by all this bollocks is that I liked having Dennis here. He did his thing, I did mine, but he was a bit of company for an otherwise quite lonely human, and just knowing he was about was strangely pleasing. I was going to write some bollocks about cherishing all life at this point, but Dennis is gone and I need to accept that. I think I might pop to Wat Phra Sing, bow to a Buddha, and light an incense stick.